Huawei Watch faces significant delays in China due to block on Google services


We recently reported that the launch of Huawei’s first smartwatch, simply called Huawei Watch, was expected to be delayed until September or October in China and perhaps abroad as well. A new story out from the WSJ speaking with Yang Yong of Huawei, however, has the launch in China pushed back as far as early 2016. The smartwatch is still expected to launch in the US and Europe in the coming months.

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Quick user feedback surveys appearing inside Google Play Store

Google already has an application where it collects responses to survey questions from its large community of users called Google Reward Opinions – and it even rewards users of the app for their responses in the form of Play Store credit in small denominations ranging from $0.10-$0.80 – but it seems to want feedback from users closer to the time of their Play Store experiences.

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Google Play ‘Free App of the Week’ showing up in Family section

Google’s policies around pricing in the Google Play store make it impossible to offer an app for free for a limited time and then change it back to a paid app later. Once the developer makes an app free, their only option to make it paid again is to pull the app and re-publish to the store. Thanks to the keen eye of one Redditor, though, it seems that Google may now be offering a promotion similar to that from Apple’s App Store in which one paid app each week is made available for free.

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Facebook’s Messenger Platform gets its first Android game, Doodle Draw

Back in March, Facebook made much noise with its unveiling of Facebook Messenger Platform, a way through which developers can integrate their third-party apps into the company’s popular Messenger app, creating new uses and features for the messaging service. Now, the platform is seeing its first Android game in the form of Doodle Draw.

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Huawei Watch said to be delayed until September or October


Speaking to Chinese media, He Gang, the head of Huawei’s mobile division, has said that the launch of the company’s first smartwatch, called Huawei Watch, has been delayed until at least September or October, pushing its launch to the latter half of the year. The Huawei Watch was unveiled back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with the company having said at the time that they were planning for a launch sometime “around the middle of the year.”

The delay can largely be attributed to “incompatibility issues with Android Wear,” according to the reports. In other words, Google Play services being unavailable in China due to strains between the Mountain View company and the People’s Republic of China has meant that Huawei has to build its own smartwatch services to match those built and offered by Google. Read more

Slack for Android updated with much faster navigation, emoji support, more


Slack, the workplace communication service that has taken the corporate communications space by storm, has released what is says is a “better, faster, and all around Android-ier” Slack app for Android, rewritten from the ground up. The biggest changes to come with this new version are a faster user experience for navigating around the app and the introduction of new user interface elements which follow the Material Design guidelines set forth by Google.

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Netflix Android app adds support for Google’s new Smart Lock password manager

Yesterday, as part of the company’s Google I/O dev conference keynote presentation, Google took the wraps off Smart Lock, a new password manager that makes logging into apps in Chrome or on Android much more painless. Now, some of the first apps to support the new feature are being updated starting with Netflix. Read more

Google Play Store gaining new features for discovering family-friendly apps, videos, & books


Google gave some stage time today at the I/O conference to a few family-focused changes coming to the Google Play Store. Families can now find age appropriate digital content from apps to game to books to movies and TV shows by tapping a new “Family” button.

This will take you to a section for each media type that allows you to browse for content by age and interest. When you browse the Play Store after tapping the Family button, you’re presented with more than just a curated section of content as other elements of the digital store change as well. Read more

Google announces Android ‘M’ with a focus on ‘quality end to end,’ developer preview coming soon (Update: dev preview live now)

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Update: Developers can find the preview images of Android M for Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE), Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player on the Preview SDK page. Google has said updates to the preview version will roll out regularly and that they’ll come down over-the-air, so you won’t have to flash your phone again each time it’s updated.

Google has announced the next major iteration of Android, called Android “M,” which Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke emphasized has a “focus on quality end to end.” Here are the six core changes coming to Android with this release.

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